FSBO: For Sale But Overpriced

Obviously, I’m not breaking any ground on this one. Because of our current economic and housing conditions this occurrence is more prevalent than ever. I’m sure everyone hear is familiar with the dreaded for sale by owner call. If sellers only knew that we hate making this call more than they dislike receiving it. They swear up and down that they don’t need us, they can sell the house themselves, we’re con artists, blah, blah, blah. What’s ironic is these for sale by owners actually need us more than some of the sellers that waste no time in contacting a listing agent. So why do we continue to subject ourselves to this abuse? Because we know the statistics. Every 9 out of 10 for sale by owners will eventually list with an agent. My good friend Ed Norton might say, “and maybe more than that”. Hopefully some of you are as big of a “The Honeymooners” fan as I am. If not, then you clearly didn’t get that great one liner I just stole!

Anyway, at one point this summer I began to make a game out of predicting what the seller’s response was going to be. I must say, I was pretty good at it. There was this one FSBO in Peekskill that I called. These people bought the house in 2004 for $225,000 and think that somehow their home defied the odds and appreciated $50,000! Of course I offered my services but they said if they can’t sell it themselves they would just rent it out. That, by the way, is a classic response of a soon to be short sale candidate. I had another of those in Cortlandt Manor. Both soon changed their for sale signs to for rent signs….lol.

My next adventure was in Fishkill. I was showing my buyers a house and the one right across the street was a FSBO. My buyers were very interested so I called. Before I called I said to my buyers, “Watch this. They’re going to be about $50,000 overpriced because of all the money they want back from the stonework in the back yard.” Sure enough, I call and the woman says, “I’m sorry, I know I’m over priced but we put so much money into our back yard. I can’t afford to drop my price.” SHE EVEN TOLD ME HERSELF SHE WAS OVER PRICED!!!

My favorite was this guy in Yorktown. This poor guy doesn’t have a clue! My buyers found this FSBO listing. They are great clients. The wife said if they don’t like it maybe I’d at least get a listing out of it. They are as loyal as loyal can be! Well, we got half way through the house and I already decided there’s no way I want this listing. The house was a DISGUSTING DISASTER!!! It would take me a week to type all the things that are wrong with this house. The seller was walking us through the home making it sound like the Taj Mahal. He then had the nerve to say, “All it needs is some paint here and there.” I really thought my buyer was going to say all it needs is a bulldozer here and there. Needless to say, he was about $75,000 over priced.

There were a couple more but you get the point. Here’s why these people need an agent…. So someone can explain the influence of an appraisal! I even explained to all of these sellers what will happen even if someone offered them their overly ambitious asking price. Buyers would not be able to obtain financing. Unfortunately, they’re all in denial and need a strong, competent agent to lead the way.